Pelosi is set to become speaker for the second time Thursday afternoon, making her the first person to do so since Sam Rayburn in 1955.
The California Democrat has spent her political career being underestimated, only to prove the naysayers wrong.
Pelosi has introduced new measures that would fund the agencies, but she noted that they "contain no new wall funding", a move the White House - and leaders in the Republican-controlled Senate - dismissed as a non-starter. In this case, it was by winning back the Democratic majority and amassing the votes for the speaker's job. "Nothing for the wall", she said.
"She'll cut your head off and you won't even know you're bleeding", Pelosi responded, without hesitation, adding: "That's all you need to know about her".
"We must be champions of the middle class and all those who aspire to it - because the middle class is the backbone of democracy, " she says.
Pelosi remains a highly polarizing figure, vilified by Republicans as a San Francisco liberal and caricature of big government.
Rep. Tim Ryan has often criticized House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, including whether she should be reelected as speaker, but he said Wednesday Democrats are "absolutely" united behind her while she negotiates to end the government shutdown.
However, one Republican has said he will support Pelosi's package, which would raise the needed number of Democratic defectors to 19 to kill the proposal. NBC's Savannah Guthrie asked Pelosi in an interview slated to air in full Thursday.
Pelosi's return to the speaker's office was not guaranteed. The Democrats have taken over the House today, as the 116Congress officially convenes. They exhausted of the Republican attack ads featuring Pelosi that are constantly run against them back home, and they anxious she would be a drag on efforts to keep the majority in the next election.
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, said in a statement that PAYGO "is a no go for me" and that the rule could obstruct "critical investments in education, infrastructure, and health care", but he stopped short of saying definitively that he would vote against the rules changes. More importantly, for the short term, the House can not proceed with legislative business at the start of each new Congress until the rules are settled.